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China terms defence minister's India visit a success

China terms defence ministers India visit a success

Beijing: Terming Chinese Defence Minister Gen Liang Guanglie's visit to India a success, China Thursday said the two countries had agreed to push forwards relations and step up military to military exchanges.

Gen Liang, the first Chinese Defence Minister to visit India in eight years, held talks with his Indian counterpart AK Antony, during his five-day visit to India.

Hong Lie told a media briefing here today that the visit was successful, though he declined to react to the controversy over the cash gift to two Indian Airforce pilots who flew the Gen Liang from Mumbai to New Delhi.

"Liang's visit to India was a success. He had meetings with political and military leaders of India," he said answering a question.

"Both sides agreed to push forward China, India relations, step up military to military exchanges and work jointly to maintain the momentum of China and India relations," he said.

Asked about reports in the Indian media over Liang gifting Rs50,000 cash to each of the pilot, Hong said he was not aware of the specifics of the incident.

His visit is widely reported in the Chinese media while the defence and strategic analysts said the two countries should move beyond joint military exercises and firm up the defence ties with more exchanges.

During the talks, India and China decided to resume at the "earliest" joint military exercises, which had been put on hold since 2010 over visa row, and agreed to enhance tranquility at the borders, reflecting their keenness to improve mutual confidence.


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